Fabulous Fritillaries.


One of the joys of Spring is the appearance of the first fritillaries.  The checker-board or snake’s head fritillary: Fritillaria meleagris is the first to come out in my garden. This is a native flower but with the loss of 97% of our wild flower meadows many sites have been lost where these gorgeous flowers once flourished.  Fox Meadow, near Framsden, Suffolk is the fourth largest Fritillary meadow in the country. Here you can see up to 300,000 flowers; a wonderful sight. It is in the care of Suffolk Wildlife Trust.  You can make an appointment to go to their Open Day in April this year. The telephone number is; 01473 890089.

Pauline at leadupthegardenpath has them growing in her woodland and she has written about them in a recent post. Do have a look, there are some fabulous photos.

Fritillaria verticillata is out now too and is a particular favourite of mine. It does not seed around obligingly as Fritillaria meleagris does but it is very elegant.


Another lovely one which I acquired this year is Fritillaria hermonis. I hope it will spread because I think it is stunning.

The little Fritillaria uva vulpis is as cheap as chips to buy and always very reliable, coming up year after year.


I must not forget the Crown Imperials: Fritillaria imperialis  which are lovely even if they do smell of foxes.


Fritillaria imperialis 'Lutea'

Fritillaria imperialis ‘Lutea’

I will finish with the dear little Fritillaria michailovskyi which I cannot keep in the garden. I grow it in the greenhouse then bring it into the house when it is in flower.


Fritillaries are caviarto the dreaded lily beetle so a daily patrol is necessary now to squash the horrid things.

I would love  to see  which fritillaries other bloggers are growing.

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30 Responses to Fabulous Fritillaries.

  1. Pauline says:

    Thanks for the mention, more buds are opening each day and the pheasant is still staying on the field, thank goodness! You have a wonderful assortment of different fritillaries, I just stick to F.meleagris which likes my heavy soil. I’ve tried a few of the others in the past, but they soon died unfortunately.

    • Chloris says:

      You have that pheasant very well trained. I live in dread of The Vicar turning his attention to my fritillaries but at the moment he is busy courting in the orchard and when he is not doing that he is making sure that the pheasant from next door doesn’t sneak in.

  2. pbmgarden says:

    It’s fun to see the variety of Fritillaries you grow. I think I’ve only ever seen one growing. I’ll have to research them to see if they do well in my area. Meanwhile, thanks for sharing yours. Susie

  3. Kris P says:

    I love the nodding flowers of the fritillaries, another plant not readily grown in southern California. I laughed at your reference to the one that smells of foxes. We have no fox here but I take it that foxes have an unpleasantly strong odor?

    • Chloris says:

      I have never been up close and personal with a fox but you always know when one has been around by the strong musky smell of their urine. It is very distinctive.

  4. Robbie says:

    I have always admired those flowers. I had no idea there were so many types + that they were native to UK. They have an exotic look about them:-)

  5. Love the crown imperials. Hard to think of fritilkaries as growing wild in a meadow.

  6. rusty duck says:

    I wonder if the foxy smell is an anti pheasant adaptation? Although the crown imperials are taller so probably out of beak range anyway.

    • Chloris says:

      I think the smell is to put off deer and rodents. The pheasants never go near them either so perhaps the smell puts them off. If only the lovely snake’s head fritillary had the same sort of protection.

  7. Lovely, I especially like the unpronounceable last one!

    • Chloris says:

      It is sweet. The name is unfortunately unpronounceable. Unspellable too. I can’ t keep it long, even in the greenhouse I have to replace it every couple of years.

  8. I only grow the Fritillaria meleagris at the moment. I love the dusky, dark plum colour, and the checkerboard pattern is so unusual, especially for a native. I did almost buy a Fritillaria uva vulpis at my last nursery trip, but was swayed. As I said, there’s always next month. You have a lovely selection there, all doing well!

  9. Flighty says:

    Wonderful, and rather exotic looking, flowers. It’s a shame that lily beetles like them. xx

  10. Anna says:

    Oh I do like the look of fritillaria pallidflora Chloris which I’ve not come across in the flesh yet . I sadly spotted the first lily beetle of the year yesterday. It’s no more.

    • Chloris says:

      Anna, I had a senior moment. It’s not Fritillaria pallidiflora,it’s Fritilallia thunbergii. All that’s left of Fritillaria pallidiflora is the label. I have put it right on the post. Sorry to confuse you.

  11. Chloris says:

    Fritillaria thunbergii is absolutely gorgeous and not difficult like some.
    And what is your particular way of murdering lily beetle? I’m afraid I have hardened myself and squish them with my fingers. I haven’t got the time or patience for more sophisticated methods. It does get more yucky once they have laid their eggs though. You need gloves then.

  12. bittster says:

    Such nice photos of such well grown plants! I’ve been trying to add a few new ones but it’s a little tricky since I’m trying to grow a couple from seeds. So far not much success but I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

  13. Chloris says:

    Thank you Frank. It is time consuming growing frits from seed but well worth the effort. Good luck with them.

  14. croftgarden says:

    Lovely to see frits growing in a garden – mine are confined to pots. F. pyrenaica has developing flowers but the others are only just producing leaves. They are not easy to grow, but worth the effort.

  15. Chloris says:

    They are tricky things to grow. Fritillaria pyenaica is beautiful but I find the flowers get smaller each year.

  16. jenhumm116 says:

    Gorgeous post – i love fritillaries (well maybe not the crown imperials, but even those have a certain style!)

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